US urges Pakistan to prioritize economy, continue working with IMF

The United States has urged Pakistan to continue working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international financial institutions for economic stability in the country. The remarks come after the PTI wrote a letter to the global lender urging the lender to endorse an audit of the 2024 elections. “I’ll just say with respect to the IMF that we support Pakistan’s efforts to break free from the vicious cycle of debt and international financing,” Spokesperson Matthew Miller said. “The long-term health of Pakistan’s government – or economy is crucial to its stability.” “Pakistan’s new government must immediately prioritize the economic situation because the policies over the next several months will be crucial to maintaining economic stability for Pakistanis,” he added. Miller also urged Pakistan to “continue working with the IMF and other international financial institutions towards macroeconomic reforms”. PTI letter to IMF In the letter written to IMF Managing Director Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, the Imran Khan-led party noted that a government without “legitimate representation, when imposed upon a country, carries no moral authority to govern, and, in particular, to carry out taxation measures”. “In the last interaction held between Imran Khan and IMF representatives in 2023, PTI had agreed to support IMF’s financing facility involving Pakistan on the condition and reassurance of a free and fair election in the country,” stated the letter. In the foregoing backdrop, the PTI said, it is noteworthy that the general elections conducted in Pakistan on February 8, 2024, on which public expenditure of about Rs50 billion (or US$ 180 million) was incurred, were subjected to “widespread intervention and fraud in the counting of votes and compilation of results”. “This intervention and fraud have been so brazen that the IMF’s most important member countries including the US, Great Britain, and countries forming part of the European Union have called for a full and transparent investigation into the matter”, the letter noted. “In view of the policies and principles the IMF stands for, there should be no doubt that the abuse of power by a small number of holders of public office to impose their likes and dislikes on Pakistan’s populace as aforesaid, and thus to ensure their continuing personal gain, would not be promoted or upheld by the IMF,” it added.